Kabul talks prompt city lockdown

Security tight as world leaders prepare to meet on making Afghan government independent.

    Afghan officials are preparing for a major conference of leaders and envoys from more than 60 countries aimed at discussing plans to hand over more responsibility for the country's security to the Afghan government.

    The meeting, which is being held in the capital, Kabul, on Tuesday, is part of a bid by the Afghan government to transition from dependence on foreign forces to running the country independently.

    Top delegates attending the conference include Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    In preparation for the meeting, Kabul has been turned into a fortress as Nato and Afghan security forces flood the streets amid security fears.

    Preparing for attack

    Mark Sedwill, Nato's top civilian representative in Afghanistan, has warned that "insurgents" could try to launch an attack and no amount of security preparation could be enough.

    "We have to prepare ourselves for the fact that the insurgents are going to seek to disrupt this," Sedwill said.

    Nato helicopters will also be circling over the city in a "show of force" to try and deter an attack, Lieutenant Commander Katie Kendrick, a spokeswoman for Nato-led forces, said.

    But with the city in lockdown, daily life for Afghan civilians has been severely disrupted. 
    As Al Jazeera's James Bays reports from Kabul, even residents seeking vital medical attention are being turned away from hospitals.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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